The Chocolate Life

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i want to start a chocolate business at home and wondered if there are any laws around doing so, as with other food businesses...i have NO clue and cannot find any information at all....i thought maybe some of you, here, would know or know where i can find out....any input would be appreciated
thanks!

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Donna - the laws differ from state to state and municipality to municipality.

Where are you?

In the part of New York where I live (Westchester County), I know that the laws are different if you sell direct (you are not required to have an inspected kitchen) or if you sell to someone who sells to the ultimate consumer (you must have an inspected kitchen). In California, if you plan to sell it, it needs to be produced in an inspected kitchen as I understand it.

Try your local (i.e., city) health department. Ultimately, they are the ones who have authority over the rules relating to kitchen inspection in your area. However, from a liability perspective it's always best to be able to fall back on an inspection report from the local health department.

There are small business exemptions for nutrition labeling that you probably qualify for. Last time I looked you had to make 100,000 units of something a year before you had to put the nutrition label on things. It's always wise to put ingredients labels, especially if there is any potential for known allergens.
thanks, clay...i am in upstate NY- near albany....years ago when i lived on long island i tried to start a catering business and the laws were INSANE ..i was hoping they were not the same for this...i think down there , tho, there were 'county' laws, as well....i just remember it was so complicated we never went thru with the venture...in any case i will contact the local health dept. and hope for the best...

thanks, also, for the response....i figured if i posted on the main forum it might get moved back here....:-)
All i have to say is health department..... I dont know much in your area, but it would cost me about $300 for licences and inspections in michigan.
We have gone thru all of the details in New Jersey. The most expensive part is the water testing(we do not have city water). The price break down is about $1000.00 per year for all of the stuff we have to do.

I hope that helps.
thanks for all the input...i had no idea it might be this complicated and expensive but i will call next week and see if i can get a PERSON to speak to..lol
It is not that complicated. Anything you do with state or county run office can be frustrating. There is a show coming up in Atlantic City the weekend after Labor Day. (www.phillycandyshow.com) If you go to that show you will be able to talk to many folks who have gone thru the problems of starting a new venture. Let me know and I will see if I can find out who is going that has recently started a at home candy business.
I know this conversation started years ago but I am sure that many people, including myself, face this challenge at some point or another if starting a business from their home is what they want to do.  I was told in Idaho that I could do arts and crafts shows if I got a permit from the health department that states there is low risk of food poisoning but if I wanted to sell out of my house, either direct or online, or to businesses than I'd have to make my chocolates in a commercial kitchen...that does not make sense to me...maybe someone can explain that one to me.....

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